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"God's Island of Dew" explores this most fascinating community two thousand years after the exile by Rome. For centuries, during both imperial times and the Renaissance, Italy was at the center of European development, and even until the rise of Fascism and the events of the Second World War, modern Italy had a place for its Jews in its burgeoning political life. The seminar allows for an engagement with Jewish and Italian history and culture in ways that only Melton can offer!

 

  • DAY ONE - Monday
    NOT BUILT IN A DAY…

    Introductions 
    2 p.m. Seminar opens at hotel in Rome

    All Leading to Rome: Water and paths as symbols

    Rome's Seven Hills: An overview of the ancient heart of the city and a view from inside the Forum, heart of ancient Rome 

    The Fall of Judea: A World Destroyed? (Alongside Titus' Arch)    

    The Clash Between Jewish and Roman Values (Visit the Colosseum)

    Dinner at Pitigliani Community Center, hosted by Dr. Ambra Tedeschi: Reflections of an Italian Jew

    Overnight: Rome


    DAY TWO - Tuesday
    FROM PAGAN EMPIRE TOWARDS CHRISTIAN CENTER

    Jews and New Jews Persecuted? (Visit the Vigna Randanii catacombs)

    The Jews and Pagan Rome: Midrashic points of view (Trajan's Forum)

    Break for lunch at Trevi Fountain

    Hadrian, Hero and Villain (Visit the Pantheon; discuss Hadrian in Jewish thought)    

    Developing Traditions: Christian Imperial Rome and the Jews

    Visit Piazza Navona and surroundings: study session) 

    Bonfires of Books and People
    (The Campo di Fiori)

    From 5:30 p.m. Free  to explore (pre-reserve for museums on your own)

    Evening: (Optional) Tour of Trastevere with Haim

    Overnight: Rome


    DAY THREE - Wednsday 
    THE CHURCH AND THE JEWS

    a.m. The Jews in Medieval Context  (Meet with Prof. Anna Foa)

    Michelangelo and the Jews: Holy Moses! (Study session at the Church of Saint Peter in Chains)

    Meeting with Hon. Ambassador of Israel at the Israel Embassy to the Holy See

    Transfer to the Vatican and break for lunch in its precincts

    p.m. The Vatican: State Within a State
    Special meeting with Vatican personage (t.b.c.)
    Visit to Sistine Chapel and to St. Peter's Basilica.

    5:30 p.m. Free time to continue exploring the city or relax

    Overnight: Rome


    DAY FOUR - Thursday 
    THE MERCHANTS OF VENICE

    a.m. Travel to Venice.  On the way - The Routes We Follow: May 1943....

    Arrival in Venice; transfer by boat to Lido Island 

    Break for lunch
    p.m.

    The Past: A Maritime Republic and Its Jews
      (Brief introduction, study session and explore the Jewish cemetery)

    Today and Tomorrow: A Vision of Jews in Venice.  Discussion with Dr. Shaul Bassi

    Disembark and leisurely walk to the hotel

    5:30 p.m. Check in at the hotel and free evening

    Overnight: Venice


    DAY FIVE - Friday 
    VENICE: CENTER OF A MEDITERRANEAN EMPIRE; HOME TO JEWISH MERCHANTS

    Depart for St. Mark's Square

    Introduction: Venice and Jerusalem

    The Structure of Lay Power in the Republic (Visit Doge's Palace)

    The Seat of Clerical Power in Venice (Visit Basilica of St. Mark's)

    Walk to Ghetto (lunch on the way)

    p.m. Meet at Entrance to Jewish Museum in Ghetto Nuovo

    Jews in the Ghetto (Museum Exhibition and Visit to Synagogues)

    Study session: Jewish Merchants and Venice 

    Late afternoon: Meet at hotel or in area of Ghetto for Kabbalat Shabbat

    Seudat Shabbat

    Overnight: Venice


    DAY SIX - Shabbat

    FREE to "lekh lekha B'Noah" ("stroll around at ease") until late afternoon.  Then, meet in the lobby of the hotel

    Jews in the World (Between Ramhal and Benamozegh)

    Oneg Shabbat and Seudah Shlishiet

    late p.m. Havdalah

    Rest of evening at leisure

    Overnight: Venice


    DAY SEVEN - Sunday 
    MODELS OF COMMUNITY IN JEWISH ITALY

    a.m.  Travel from Venice to Padua

    Padua: The Old City and Central Piazza (tour) 

     Introduction to Jewish Padua (in the Jewish Museum)

    Visit the Ghetto, meet community member and visit synagogue 

    Padua, Ramchal and the Jewish mystical tradition (Study in synagogue)

    Lunch break in center of Padua
    Free time in central Piazza, or pre-reserved visit to Capella Scrovegni

    p.m. Depart for Florence

    The City States and the Medieval Jewish Political Thought (Brief Study session)

    Check into the hotel and evening at leisure

    Overnight: Florence


    DAY EIGHT - Monday 
    TUSCAN TALES

    Visit to Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana at San Lorenzo; view their prized Judaica items

    Travel from Florence to Siena

    On the Way: Rural Jewish Populations in Tuscany

    Visit Duomo and walk to Piazza del Campo

    Break for lunch in the area of the Piazza

    Visit synagogue and museum and study session

    Travel from Siena to Terra di Seta Kosher wine estate

    Discussion with owners over cheese, wine and a light meal

    Return to Florence

    Overnight: Florence


    DAY NINE - Tuesday
    INTEGRATING THE JEWS OF FLORENCE INTO THE CITY'S NARRATIVE

    a.m.  Following the Jewish Presence in the City Center through to 19th Century (Walking tour of area near the Duomo)

    Visit Piazza Della Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio, including the Hall of the 500

    Florentine Politics and the Symbol of David vs Goliath

    Lunch break and free time

    A visit to the Synagogue and The Jewish Museum of Florence

    Lunch break (near kosher restaurant)

    Michelangelo's David and the Other Treats (visit the Galleria dell'Academia)

    Evening at leisure

    Overnight: Florence


    DAY TEN - Wednesday 
    "IF I FORGET THEE, LITTLE JERUSALEM…"

    Travel from Florence to Pitigliano 
    Explore "Piccolo Jerusalem" museum

    Meet with last representative of Pitigliano's once-strong community: Elena Servi
    Free time to browse
    p.m.Travel from Pitigliano to Rome

    Evening: From Moses to Moses: A special night tour of the Fountains of Rome (optional)

    Overnight: Rome


    DAY ELEVEN - Thursday 
    ROME'S JEWS: 2000 YEARS AND STILL BUILDING…

    a.m. Cum Nimis: A Tour of the Rome Ghetto and study session

    Visit  the Jewish Museum of Rome and its Synagogue

    Free time to browse and lunch

    p.m. Looking Ahead: Meet with representative of the next generation

    Closing session at the hotel

    Farewell Dinner in Ghetto

    Overnight: Rome

    Continued travel arrangements as per individual arrangements from Friday morning. 


    Note: Itinerary subject to change. Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many religious, state and local holidays observed in the destinations being visited.

  • For more information, please contact us.